'Absolutely pathetic': Anger over 'disgraceful' scenes at US Open

Sam Goodwin
Sports Editor

Daniil Medvedev is at the centre of controversy at the US Open yet again, with the New York crowd continuing their battle with the Russian star.

Medvedev was welcomed out onto Arthur Ashe Stadium with a chorus of boos from fans for his quarter-final win over Stan Wawrinka on Tuesday.

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Fans also cheered when the fifth seed made errors, and there was a noticeable hush when Medvedev hit winners.

Daniil Medvedev in action against Stan Wawrinka. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

It continued an ugly trend as spectators booed Medvedev during his previous two matches, and the tennis world was officially sick of it on Tuesday.

Fans on social media labelled the treatment “pathetic” and “disgraceful”.

There was similar condemnation when Novak Djokovic was booed after he retired hurt against Wawrinka in the fourth round.

In remarkable scenes, Medvedev appeared to be on the verge of retiring hurt early in the match before painkillers allowed him to battle through a thigh problem.

He advanced to the semi-finals with a 7-6 (8-6), 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 win over Wawrinka, with the crowd finally embracing him after the match.

“Sorry guys and thank you,” he said in reference to his antics in previous matches.

The No. 5 seed reached the final four at a major tournament for the first time and improved his tour-leading total to 49 victories this year.

He reached the final in three-straight tournaments on hard courts leading into the US Open, winning the last one.

The 23-year-old had his legs treated twice in the first set but played through the pain to become the youngest semi-finalist at Flushing Meadows since Novak Djokovic in 2010.

Medvedev’s running battle with crowd

Medvedev never sought to be the pantomime villain at this year's US Open but after being lustily booed by the New York crowd for his on-court antics during his last two wins, he is learning to use the energy to his advantage.

The Russian’s short fuse got the better of him in his third-round win over Feliciano Lopez, where he angrily snatched a towel from a ball person, threw his racquet and showed the crowd his middle finger, which led to fines totalling $13,000 and a shower of boos.

The match ended with Medvedev, arms raised amid a chorus of jeers, sarcastically thanking the crowd at Louis Armstrong Stadium.

"The only thing I can say, the energy you're giving me right now, guys, I think it will be enough for my next five matches. The more you do this, the more I will win, for you guys," said the World No.5, who picked up fines after each of his first three matches at Flushing Meadows this year.

Daniil Medvedev battled a thigh injury against Stan Wawrinka. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

The crowd let him have it again after his fourth-round win over Dominik Koepfer on Sunday when he performed a dance after match point.

"Talking about the last match, I was an idiot, to be honest," he said on Sunday about his win over Lopez.

"I did some things that I'm not proud of and that I'm working on to be a better person on the court because I do think I'm a good person out of the court," he said.

"Talking about today, during my match I was completely focussed. After the match, I engaged a little bit with the crowd.

"But we all know how New York crowd can be. It's probably the most electric crowd in the world.

"Especially playing this week on big courts, I could feel it. Today I was just engaging with the crowd and hopefully -- hopefully it was fun for them and for me.

"As I said, it gave me a lot of energy to win."

with Reuters